Racing has nearly concluded for 2019, but two landmark events remain for the open-wheel Modified competitors in the Northeast.
First, the fourth annual Driven Racing Oil Short Track Championships will be held this weekend, a prelude to the World Finals. The event, contested from Oct. 31 to Nov. 2, will take place at the Dirt Track at Charlotte and include the DIRTcar Sportsman division. In total, nine divisions will be on the track for qualifying and features, with more than $120,000 in prize money handed out.
The full schedule and competitor guides are available online at http://www.dirtcarump.com/events/world-short-track-championship.
The following weekend, Charlotte will host the annual World Finals, serving as the official conclusion to the World of Outlaws Late Model, World of Outlaws Sprint Car and Super DIRTcar Series touring schedules. Racing will be contested Nov. 7-9.
The World Finals schedule will include two rounds of qualifying heats for the Super DIRTcar Series Nov. 7. Qualifying heats for the Nov. 8 features will push off at 5 p.m., with timed laps for the World of Outlaws divisionsfollowing before the qualifying heats for Saturday’s feature.
The 40-lap Modified feature will underscore the qualifying rounds for the WoO Late Models and Sprints, capped by a 50-lap Late Model feature and a 30-lap Sprint main.
The Nov. 9 Modified feature also will last 40 laps, with the Late Models and Sprints again going 50 and 30 laps, respectively.
Last year, Tim Fuller and Matt Sheppard hogged the Modified headlines. Fuller won the 40-lap finale. Sheppard raced to second, and took his seventh career Super DIRTcar Series Championship in the process, tying him with Brett Hearn for the most all-tie championships. Jack Johnson is next with six, while Alan Johnson has won five. Sheppard has won all seven of his since 2010, and was the first to win three in a row (2010-12). He broke his own mark last year, and is aiming to extend it to five straight.
Sheppard leads Mat Williamson by six points entering the final two events, with Sheppard (Brockville) and Williamson (Oswego) winning the last two events contested.
A full agenda is available online at worldofoutlawsworldfinals.com.
Friesen takes Eastern States
Stewart Friesen accepted a past winner’s provisional to get into the field for the 58th running of the Eastern States 200 at Orange County Fair Speedway in Middletown. Spending most of the day on the high groove, Friesen stormed to the front to win his second straight Eastern States 200, good for a $40,000 winner’s check.
Friesen took the lead on lap 129, passing Billy Decker before cruising to the victory over Sheppard and Decker. Danny Johnson was fourth ahead of Larry Wight.
Williamson won the 358-Modified Eastern States 100. The 100-lap main paid $15,000, and marks Williamson’s 100th career victory. He was on the pole for the start, and lost the lead only briefly to Sheppard. Williamson took the lead back in lapped traffic and zipped away for the win.
Brett Hearn was behind Sheppard to complete the podium. Tim McCreadie and Billy Decker filled out the front five.
On Thursday, Friesen won the 50-lap Hard Clay Finale at Middletown, taking the eighth and final round of the Short Track Super Series North Region Series. Sheppard was fourth, clinching the North Region championship for the first time. This sets the stage for a remarkable Insinger Performance-Sunoco Race Fuels “Grand Championship” worth $58,500. Sheppard needs only to start Saturday’s race at Georgetown (Del.) Speedway to clinch the Short Track Super Series South Region title and secure the aforementioned monster bonus money.
A total of 89 Modifieds entered Thursday’s event, with 32 taking the green. Friesen redrew 12th, and took the lead on lap 17 after contact between Michael Storms and Andy Bachetti. Bachetti hoped to serve as a foil to Sheppard’s title hopes, and had a chance with Sheppard starting 13th. However, Sheppard kept him in close proximity on his way to securing the title.
Anthony Perrego ranked second ahead of Bachetti, Sheppard and Billy Decker.
Jordan Thomas won Thursday’s 360 Sprint feature over Billy VanInwegen, Lucas Wolfe, Davie Franek and Justin Barger completed the top five.
Mackey prevails at Utica-Rome
Chris Mackey won the Sportsman feature Saturday at the Halloween-themed Monster Mash event at Utica-Rome Speedway. Mackey took home $1,000 by winning the 50-lapper, an event in which he started 12th before taking the lead on lap 22.
Pat Jones’ fifth-place showing locked up the VP Racing Fuels Summer Shootout Series championship.
Josh Coonradt needed only 12 laps to get to the front of the Pro Stock main, then survived a series of late restarts to triumph. Travis Whitbeck won the 15-lap Rookie Sportsman feature.
Outlaw cements plans for 2020 season
The 2020 class lineups at Outlaw Speedway have been decided.
The Modifieds will return, as will the American Racer Sportsman and Hoosier Dirt Car Sportsman circuits. The menu also will include the IMCA, Hobby Stock, Street Stock, and 4-Cylinder divisions.
The season schedule mirror this year’s, with the Super DIRTcar Series, Short Track Super Series, Tony Stewart All Star Circuit of Champions, World of Outlaws Late Model Series, RUSH Late Model Series, Empire Super Sprints, Patriot Sprint Tour and American Racer Sportsman Series all booked for returns.
Meanwhile, Outlaw’s 2019 banquet is set for Jan. 24 at the Harbor Hotel in Watkins Glen. The date was changed from the previously announced one due to a conflict.
A cocktail hour kicks off the evening at 6 p.m., with dinner being served at 7.
Tickets cost $42; there are 300 available. Mail checks to 1163 Hibbard Road, Horseheads, NY 14845. PayPal orders can be made at OutlawSpeedwayLLC@gmail.com.
A select block of rooms has been reserved. To reserve one, call the Harbor Hotel at (607) 535-6116.
Call Jordan Lynch at (607) 423-6702 with questions.